DETROIT (Oct. 3, 2013) — Michelin North America Inc. is partnering with the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI) for a fifth year for the institute's steel wheel design competition, which challenges students at Lawrence Technological University (LTU) to design lightweight, cost-competitive and manufacturable steel wheels that are also stylish.
Students at LTU are competing for scholarships ranging from $500 to $2,000, Michelin said.
They will be judged by a panel of industry experts based on criteria such as:
• Material celebration;
• Changing customer perception by communicating environmental benefits and performance;
• Creativity through a unique and innovative design that maintains functionality; and
• An executed design concept that complements the vehicle's aesthetics.
"The Steel Wheel Design Competition is a great way for the students to work one-on-one with designers, engineers and other industry experts," said Todd Fletcher, chair of the SMDI's Steel Wheel Design Competition and senior applications engineer at Maxion Wheels Inc.
"The project not only helps them prepare for future jobs in the design industry, but shows them the importance of communicating steel's design benefits to consumers."
Ron Krupitzer, vice president, automotive market, for the SMDI, added: "This year, the students will focus on how steel wheels are not only durable and lightweight, but how they can be stylish and attractive to the customer, feasible for the wheel makers and help auto makers meet the new fuel economy standards."
This is the fifth year that Michelin has cooperated with the SMDI to hold the contest. The SMDI http://www.autosteel.org/ is a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, which describes itself as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena.
Among the investors in the SMDI are: AK Steel Corp.; ArcelorMittal Dofasco; ArcelorMittal USA L.L.C.; Nucor Corp.; Severstal North America; ThyssenKrupp Steel USA L.L.C.; and United States Steel Corp.
Last year three LTU students took home scholarships totaling $2,500 for their designs based on the theme: "Hollywood Steel: A science fiction theme that is edgy, with an out-of-this-world feeling."